*4S trolling supply. But let me digress, if you please, sir. When, I ask, is the tobacco plant most vulnerable? When it is young and tender. In the plant bed before it is set in the field. Then a few strokes of a hoe, and a thousand pounds of leaf have disappeared. Very simple." "You mean-----" Mr. Munn hesitated. He looked at Professor Ball's palish, preacherish face, with its high, narrow forehead and scraggly beard. "You mean, scrape a man's plant bed?" "You might go so far as to say it was his own fault," Professor Ball said. " He'd have a free option. He could join the Association and abide by its rules and regulations, or "— he looked away from Mr. Munn and fixed his mild gaze on some imaginary spot across the room in the shadow—"it would be his own responsibility." Mr. Munn shook his head and rose slowly to his feet. " It just isn't in me, I reckon," he admitted. Mr. Christian came quickly to him and put a heavy hand on his shoulder, as though to force him back into his seat, and said, "Now, Perse, don't be going off half-cocked!" Doctor MacDonald, who had not changed his position, was watching with that same secret half smile on his face and the dead pipe stuck between his bared teeth. "You'd be surprised what's in you," Professor Ball said quietly, " sometimes. Now take me, for instance." Mr. Munn sank slowly into his chair. " I'm a peaceful man. My hand has never been raised in anger against a fellow creature. When I was young, my weak constitution kept me from following the path of patriotic valour, like your uncle Mordecai. And I often meditated going into the ministry and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, and many's the night I wrestled with the angel in sweat and prayer to know if I had a clear and certain caU. Yes, sir, I'm a man of peace. But it's surprising to a man what he'll find in himself sometimes." Mr. Munn shook his head meditatively. " No," he said. But Professor Ball seemed to be paying him no attention.